PPCRV ON THE SPOT

Maliit ña bagay para sa Comelec: Malaki para kay Bongbong at sa bayan

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NOW, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is trying to make us believe that a change in the programming script of the transparency server on May 9, when the poll body was already transmitting election results from the Vote Counting Machines, was just “cosmetic.”

The transparency server, which is owned by the Comelec, transmitted the unofficial ballot tallies during last week’s polls.

The Comelec made an admission of the move made by Smartmatic—the technology provider for the 2016 local and national polls—on May 14, or a good five days after the hotly contested electoral exercise was concluded.

Had the camp of vice-presidential frontrunner Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. not exposed the apparent sleight-of-hand performed by the technology provider, supposedly without the approval of the Comelec before the unsuspecting among non-netizens, the carnival trick would have been dismissed as just another conjuring up made easy by a magician.


The apparent alteration, in particular, allowed the system to recognize the “ñ” in the names of the candidates instead of projecting the character “?” and Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista promptly assured that no cheating occurred when the programming script was changed by Smartmatic.

Toeing Bautista’s line was poll body Commissioner Rowena Guanzon, who thanked the heavens that the change supposedly did not result in any corruption of the Automated Election System (AES) and the outcome itself of the elections.

How would Bautista and Guanzon know that no fraud transpired, when they are not known to be IT experts?

Or if they are, then they have to explain why no hanky-panky, as they claimed on whose authority nobody knows, took place, particularly just as when Marcos was leading Liberal Party vice-presidential bet Leni Robredo by a million votes until 10 p.m. of Monday, Election Day, only for his numbers, after an hour, to begin sliding down at regular rate of 1 to 2 percent every succeeding update.

Bautista and Guanzon should have kicked off their explanation with how Smartmatic, a Venezuelan firm whose people from the CEO down to the Xerox operator, it is perfectly safe to presume, speak Spanish, could have forgotten to differentiate the “n” from the “ñ” when what is now Latin America has been taught the language by Spanish colonizers since more than 500 years ago.

Smartmatic, after all, had all of six years (from 2010 when it also handled the mid-term elections in that year) to figure out all possible flaws in the technology it was providing the Comelec for this year’s synchronized polls.

Or if the “n” and “ñ” to-do was just “cosmetic,” why bother with it at all when there would be no love lost between the Marcos camp and both the Comelec and the Catholic Church-based Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) if Smartmatic’s Marlon Garcia just let a sleeping dog lie?

Garcia must have had a motive for making a mountain out of a molehill, despite saying in geeky jargon that he meant no harm to the AES.

Or perhaps he just wanted to dirty his hands with the best clay to bring with him to his pottery classes?

Through an apparent diversionary tactic, Guanzon has not been addressing doubts of the Marcos camp on the honesty of last week’s elections, also apparently preferring to harp instead on how Smartmatic “breached protocol” by its unilateral decision to introduce the new script.

“Apparently, the execution of this computer command [new script]was able to alter the hash codes of the packet data,” according to Francesca Huang, a lawyer and a member of Marcos’ legal team.

Guanzon, no matter her reported anger over the unilateral changing of the script by Garcia, apparently abetted by a Comelec IT personnel who had given the Smartmatic guy the other half of the password to introduce the software, was apparently playing it safe when she said protocol was breached, instead of saying the AES Law either was violated or not violated.

The poll body ordering Smartmatic to stay away from the official vote-counting center Philippine International Convention Center as a result of Garcia’s faux pas did not help any the removal of the electorate’s doubt on the integrity of the polls, especially the vice-presidential race.

Election lawyer Manuelito Luna said the Venezuelan firm violated Republic Act 9369 or the Automated Election Law and the Omnibus Election Code with respect to the rights of political candidates and political parties.

The “essential point” is not that the change was “minor” or “cosmetic,” according to Rene Azurin, convenor of the poll watchdog Automated Election System (AES) Watch, the “crucial” issue being the fact that someone from Smartmatic had access to the server program while the tallying of votes was going on.

If that person can change one character, in this case the “n” to “ñ,” Azurin said, then he can change other things as well and the AES Watch convenor can only surmise that the “cosmetic” change could have been intentionally made to act as a “trigger to launch a sleeping worm or Trojan horse already embedded in the system and programmed to make major changes, including the altering of vote counts.”

Come now, children, before we drown in techno mumbo-jumbo, the point is that the maliit na bagay for the Comelec, Smartmatic and PPCRV is malaking bagay para kay Bongbong—and not only for supporters of the senator but also for the entire electorate who had wanted and prayed for the recent elections to be entirely fraud-free, no ifs and buts.

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16 Comments

  1. Pathetic voters. If Leni wins, its like the Aquino regime again. Ill just stick to what BBM said during the vice-presidential debates:

    “Let’s face it, that I am a Marcos and the president is an Aquino.”

  2. Maharlikang Pilipino on

    The “Maliit na Bagay” is just a pacifying lines of the Yellow Army for fellow supporters of Senator Bongbong Marcos whose who were outraged by the breach of protocols by the Smartmatic Personnel with the consent of COMELEC (of course they consented it because they hold the other half of the password at least in the highest form of secrecy) to alter the election result favoring their revered candidate in Mam Leni Robredo who is their last bastion of hope in reclaiming the presidency from Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte via Gloria Formula.

    However the angels of heaven thwarted it by sending the cavaliers of heroes for this election to ferret out the truth which is the VOX DEI. To name a few, Atty Chong, Atty Luna, Prof Antonio Contreras, Prof David Yap, Representative Jonathan Dela Cruz, Atty Jose Amor Amorado, Mr Azurin, and even former Commissioner Larrazabal and scores of BBM supporters and sympathizers with of course the leadership of Senator Bongbong Marcos, the Presumptive Vice President.

    Ang “Maliit na Bagay” na iyan ang magpapabagsak sa Dilaw na Bandila upang wakasan na ang pagpapalaganap ng pagkamuhi, galit at pagtatago ng katotohanan dahil pinahintulutan ng Panginoon na manalo ang kandidato sa pagkapangulo na binansagan ninyong berdugo. Yes para sa amin berdugo siya sa mga masasamang tao sa lipunan. Niloob ng Panginoon na manalo si Pangulong DU30 upang lilinisin niya ang lipunan at kung mananaig ang katotohanan sa girian sa pagitan ni BBM at Mam Leni at manalo si BBM ay tulungan niya si Pangulong Duterte na pagkaisahin ang Samabayanang Pilipino upang magkaroon ng kapayapaan at pag-unlad sa ating bansa.

    Sana ilabas natin ang katotohanan, magkaisa na tayo

    • A blessing in disguise this cheating…Thank God for internet and social media that every little things we do now is microscopic and the Yellow band and Comelec was not spared from such…They have gotten away with this scheme for the longest time and this in now the time that no one can scape anymore…

  3. rene martin on

    I was a computer program tester for 20 years. In practice, any change in the program should be tested thoroughly before using in the real world. True, it might be cosmetic in nature but it can be a trigger somewhere in the program. A switch that will execute a hidden subroutine in the program, a routine that was programmed to change the results. Just a thought, why would the name of candidates be typed so many times at the receiving end when it should be the vote counts that were tabulated.

  4. That what it is,small thing means a lot…….Small things make a lot……..No touch, you touch is no longer a virgin……..What the comissioner Andres Bautista…..Do not touch, You touch……that is a trouble………and trouble creates doubts……Sorry……There doubts and the result is uncertain because of small things….Trouble……..Doubts,….Anger….Cheating…….

  5. Manual counting is the best solution . from then we will know who is the real winner. The integrity of Comelec has been stink. We cannot trust anymore the comelec who were the arm of Aquino administration. We will request from the new President to replace and terminate all the personnel of Comelec at their head office. Replace them with the new one , who will serve our country fairly….Remove all of them from their post.

  6. I think Garcia being an IT mgr with long years of experience knows that its a NO NO to alter ANYTHING in the program,,,more so cosmetic,, during production run. So although there is no proof YET of cheating ,He could not have done it for that simple correction of ?. ONLY. There must have been some other reasons. So maybe safest thing to do is manual audit of national election results for those transmissions occuring immediately AFTER the time of fix/alteration.

  7. You are implying in your column that you have to be an IT expert to know that there is fraud. You mentioned the name of Bautista and Guanzon. They are very respectable persons so do not bad mouth them if you do not have any proof that the totals were affected. I remind you the totals and not the letters. So if they are not in the position to know, so who will know ? You think you know why, are you an IT expert ? If you are not, per your premise, you are not in a position to know. You have a very narrow line of thinking. I will suggest that let the manual counting proceed and done with so all of us will not have a shred of doubt.

    • Does it need to be an IT expert to doubt about systems that was clearly TAMPERED?

      Here’s an example: Would you still try to use a tampered ATM machine, and then trust that your account was still “safe” because the bank says so?

    • Pusong-Pinoy on

      Agreed.

      Who are these ‘IT Experts’? Why don’t they have names? Why don’t they have credentials and call themselves “IT Experts”?

  8. Or the “cosmetic” change was done to camouflage a non-cosmetic alteration that could have changed the transmission of returns at PPRCV. Either way, the Comelec must open the Smartmatic program to independent IT scrutiny to prove that the elections and counting of votes were indeed conducted fairly and cleanly.

  9. Chico Ibarra on

    While the numbers may be iffy amidst allegations of cheating, tactically, Leni may be at a disadvantage; anything could happen in the shuffle. Leni is dogged with allegations of cheating and she’s identified with the outgoing regime. BBM’s supporters are more dominant than Leni’s it the in the CAR region; Leni’s support is centered in the southern region. Most rallies are held in the Metro area, and BBM is more close to the incoming leader, El Cid Rodrigo. In a mob situation, BBM’s support has more decibels. Leni needs Helen Reddy’s “I’m Woman”, that roars.

  10. This Marlon Garcia had all the time in the world to fix his worries, there was a dry run for the machine before election why he need to fix things in the middle of counting!!

  11. Amnata Pundit on

    What they should explain is why they denied it at first only to admit it later on when the whole thing appeared on youtube. Kung wala silang tinatago na masama, bakit nila ipinagkaila muna?

    • Seems that they want to downplay it, hoping that it will be easily forgotten, like the ComeLeak issue

    • @Amnata Pundit, Correct! Maybe Leni has no idea about this modus, but sino ba ang taong ang may pinakagustong manalo si Leni? Si Noynoy Aquino lang naman! Remember, days before the actual election, Aquino promised to do everything to thwart Bongbong Marcos from winning.